February 5, 2010

2010 PSU Eligibility Breakdown

Updated 2/5/10

Barring some twist, Penn State's roster is set for the season. With that, today we'll break down the team by position and eligibility. In particular, eligibility determines not only the recruiting strategy for the next season, but which players are redshirted, which players change positions, and so much more. This breakdown will be critical to understanding what happens with certain players, and why, in the coming months.

(Full analysis below the chart)

Pos.(14) Seniors(26) Juniors(35) Sophomores(49) Freshmen

(4) Matthew McGloin,

Kevin Newsome*,

John Kelly,

Shane McGregor
(4) Steven Hill,

Garrett Venuto,

Robert Bolden^,

Paul Jones^
RB(3) Evan Royster*,

Josh Matzkin (FB),

Brent Carter,

(3) Brandon Beachum,

Stephfon Green*,

Joe Suhey* (FB)
(2) Derek Day,

Kevin Kowalishen
(5) Curtis Dukes,

Pat Zerbe (FB),

Andre Dupree (FB),

Silas Redd^,

Zach Zwinak^ (FB)
WR(2) Graham Zug*,

Brett Brackett
(2) Chaz Powell*,

Derek Moye*
(7) Curtis Drake,

Justin Brown,

Devon Smith,

Andrew Goodman,

J.D. Mason,

Ryan Scherer,

Sean Luchnick
(7) Shawney Kersey,

Brandon Moseby-Felder,

A.J. Price,

Tariq Tongue,

Christian Kuntz,

Alex Kenney^,

Levi Norwood^
Andrew Szczerba*, Mark Wedderburn, Kevin Haplea^,
OL(3) Stefen Wisniewski* (C),

Doug Klopacz (C),

Lou Eliades* (G)
(4) DeOn'tae Pannell* (T),

Quinn Barham* (G),

Anthony Tortorelli (C),

Johnnie Troutman* (G)
(2) Matt Stankiewitch* (G),

Mike Farrell
(11) Adam Gress,

Ty Howle (C),

Frank Figueroa,

Mark Arcidiacono,

John Urschel,

Eric Shrive (T),

Nate Cadogan,

Luke Graham^,

Khamrone Kolb^,

Tom Ricketts^,

Vinh Vuong^
DL(2) Tom McEowen (DT),

Ollie Ogbu* (DT)
(6) Kevion Latham (DE),

Jonathan Stewart (DE),

Eric Latimore* (DE),

Devon Still* (DT),

Jack Crawford* (DE),

Chimaeze Okoli (DT)
(7) Jordan Hill (DT),

Pete Massaro (DE),

Sean Stanley (DE),

James Terry (DT),

Mikel Berry,
Matt Kenney (DE),
Brandon Ware (DT)
(8) Garry Gilliam,

J.R. Refice,

Brad Bars^,

Kyle Baublitz^,

Miles Dieffenbach^,

Evan Hailes^,

DaQuan Jones^,

C.J. Olaniyan^
LB(2) Bani Gbadyu*,

Chris Colasanti*
(2) Shaine Thompson,

Nathan Stupar
(6) Michael Zordich,

Michael Yancich,

Michael Mauti*,

Ken Pollock,

Brian Irvin,

James Van Fleet
(5) Nick Delligatti,

Khairi Fortt^,

Mike Hull^,

Dakota Royer^,

Don Duckett^

DB(3) Cedric Jeffries (S),

Shelton McCullough (CB),

Jesse Alfreno (CB)
(7) D'Anton Lynn* (CB),

Andrew Dailey (S),

Nick Sukay* (S),

Drew Astorino* (S),

Kyle Johnson (S),

Tyler Ahrenhold (S),

Stephen Joseph (S)
(3) Gerald Hodges (S),

Stephon Morris* (CB),

Jacob Fagnano
(6) Evan Lewis,

Mike Wallace,

Stephen Obeng-Agyapong,

Malcolm Willis,

Derrick Thomas,

Shyquawn Pullium^
STCollin Wagner* (K), Ryan Breen* (P), (3) David Soldner (K),

Jon Rohrbaugh (LS),

Michael Fuhrman (K)
(2) Anthony Fera (K),

Emery Etter (K)

*Possible/probable starter
^True freshman


The first thing anyone will notice is the lack of any upperclassmen quarterbacks. All eight passers have sophomore or freshman eligibility. With the addition of two very highly-rated quarterbacks--Bolden and Jones--Penn State is pretty much relieved of any pressure to recruit and sign a high-quality quarterback prospect for the 2011 recruiting class. Newsome, Bolden and Jones were all top-10 quarterbacks nationally out of high school. There hasn't been this kind of quality depth at this position in years, if not ever for Penn State.

There are only eight total seniors currently listed as offensive players; only 10 offensive players are juniors. This creates a huge backlog of players, all with loads of talent. I would imagine that with so many sophomores and juniors on this side of the ball, Penn State could afford to recruit lightly for offensive prospects next recruiting season.

The defense is another story. While there are only seven senior defenders, there are 15 juniors and 16 sophomores. Compared to the 28 offensive players with freshman eligibility going into 2010, the defense only has 19 redshirt or true freshmen. While its depth is not at all thin, the defense could use another jolt from next season's recruiting class, particularly in the defensive backfield, where the Lions only picked up one player in this year's class.


Penn State loves to redshirt freshmen whenever it can. Last season, the Nittany Lions had a senior-heavy starting lineup, necessitating the early playing time by true freshmen like Stephon Morris and Curtis Drake, among others. Now that the roster has some experience, and most of the positions are down to no more than two players competing for the job, the 2010 true freshmen won't get nearly the amount of playing time that we saw last season.

Since Paul Jones is enrolled for the spring semester, he does have a leg up on Robert Bolden to become the second or third quarterback for 2010. However, if Kevin Newsome and Matt McGloin have a really great spring sessions, don't be surprised if Bolden is redshirted along with Jones. I'm not counting on it yet, as Newsome hasn't been given enough live action to show what he can really do on the field. But no matter what happens with Newsome and Jones, you can bet now that Bolden will take a redshirt season for 2010.

Contrary to popular opinion, I'm not counting on Silas Redd, Mike Hull, or Khairi Fortt to see anything but the bench in 2010. Seriously, how many snaps would these guys get, 30? 40? That is not worth wasting a year of eligibility for young players who will have their shot to make a difference on the team. The only area where I could see one or two true freshmen playing is along the defensive line, as Larry Johnson, Sr. loves to sub players in and out on almost every play. But overall, this is not the year to play freshmen. Should the coaching staff agree with that, it could pay huge dividends in the next four years.

Position Changes

There has been talk about a few position changes for the spring, but nothing has been confirmed; if it was confirmed, don't count on it staying that way. Penn State makes about a dozen or so position changes by the time spring turns to summer.

However, there are a few that could stick. The former defensive back recruit, safety Gerald Hodges, is supposedly moving to linebacker to take advantage of his great size and incredible speed. This is just another reason why I said above that there is no reason to waste Mike Hull's freshman season on a few snaps. I would have liked to see Hodges stay at safety, as Penn State hasn't had an elite talent back there in a number of years--not to mention all the blown coverages by a few of the safeties since the 2009 Rose Bowl.

Of course, that all could be assuaged if this next possibility comes true: Chaz Powell will move back to his old safety position. If this happens in concert with Hodges' move to linebacker, it would be very satisfying. Powell was a very highly-rated safety out of high school, with good speed and knows how to handle the ball. Plus, a defensive back with wide receiver experience is always great.

That's all for now. As spring practice starts up, we'll keep the updates coming. It should be one of the most interesting spring sessions we've seen in a long time. I know I'm looking forward to it.

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  1. I believe that Jones enrolled early while Bolden could not do so. IMO tht makes it more likely that Bolden will redshirt.

  2. Fixed. Thanks for the catch. I should have been more careful between the two frosh QBs.

  3. Good post. Would love to hear your breakdown of a guy like Jones chances to get starts over KN. Of course we'll know more once spring practice starts but people are already asking.

    Really like your blog, big fans of your posts.

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